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A specific type of Performance Video in which the band is playing, but there is no audience. The artist might be in a bar at closing time, or in an empty club/theater, or maybe they were On a Soundstage All Along. The kicker is that they have full lighting rigs, special effects like fog and lasers or Great Balls of Fire, basically all the trappings of an actual concert. The absence of observers may be noted but is usually ignored.

This is perhaps the most pervasive concept in use. Almost all videos, especially rock videos, will use a Dress Rehearsal performance for band footage, interspersed with footage related to the video's overarching concept; but for some videos, this is the overarching concept.


  • Kiss, "I Love It Loud"
  • Van Halen, "Jump", "Panama", "When It's Love"
  • Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"
  • Most of Poison's repertoire
  • Almost all the videos from Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime album feature, amongst the concept footage, the full stage set-up the band was using at the time, including wall-sized projection screens. It's especially notable when watching the videos back to back; they all seem to look the same.
    • Their clip for the song "Breaking The Silence" was a bona fide application of Dress Rehearsal, with no concept footage at all.
  • Especially common in the days before MTV, when many videos were actually Dress Rehearsals which were aired after the fact on musical concert shows like Britain's "Top Of The Pops":
  • Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii takes this to extremes — it's a full concert movie (interspersed with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage in the special edition), only without any audience at all.
  • Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's Fanfare for the Common Man. Live performance in a stadium; three people surrounded by organs and keyboards, no audience, no effects, no crew, and seemingly in the middle of winter.
  • I'm Not Okay by My Chemical Romance has footage of a performance involving flashy lights, wind machines and tricksy camera angles... and turns out to be taking place in a garage.
  • Vertigo Venus played "Everybody Down" in an empty warehouse.
  • Queen, "You're My Best Friend", "Somebody to Love", "We Will Rock You", "Spread Your Wings", "Fat Bottomed Girls", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Play the Game", "Another One Bites the Dust", "One Vision", "Princes of the Universe", "I Want It All", "The Miracle", "Headlong", "These Are the Days of Our Lives", "No-One But You".
    • And emphatically not such Queen videos as "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Hammer to Fall", as these employ footage of actual concert performances.
  • The band Metallica filmed a back-up video for their first ever music video, "One", of them performing the song in an empty warehouse in the event that the mash-up version of the song (which incorporated a ten minute long abridged edit of the movie Johnny Got His Gun, whose novel served as the basis for the song "One") was banned by MTV. However, MTV greenlighted airing the mash-up video for "One", and the "jamming" version of the song was ultimately included on video with the mash-up version (as well as included on the Metallica music video DVD collection, as an extra).
  • The Foo Fighters have used this a few times.
    • The only one that leaps to mind for this troper is "All My Life". "No Way Back" uses regular concert footage, along with various random video clips from their touring misadventures.
    • "The Pretender" is this to a T, just the band performing in an abandoned warehouse. Except they're just too awesome so the Culture Police show up. Then the wall explodes.
  • Metric's "Gimme Sympathy" has a fun twist on this - the singer begins singing while in her dressing room putting on clothes, and then walks out onto an empty stage (with full lights and effects playing) and joins the band who has already started the song. Then whenever the camera focus on one bandmember, the others all swap places an instruments while off-camera.
  • Versaemerge's video for Past Praying For
  • Andrew WK's "Party Hard" is mostly this trope, with a few intercuts to the strobe scenes that made it somewhat popular on the Internet to make/post sparsely animated (preferably flashing) GIF images with the words PARTY HARD located somewhere on it.
  • Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" has the first half of the video in black and white showing prep/rehearsal for a gig, the second half in colour showing the actual performance in front of the audience.
  • AFI's video for "Medicate" feature the band on a mostly empty stage and a full screen projection behind them. It also appears in black and white, except that gold colors are highlighted.